Development and validation of a new method for the registration of overuse injuries in sports injury epidemiology: the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre (OSTRC) Overuse Injury Questionnaire

Background Current methods for injury registration in sports injury epidemiology studies may substantially underestimate the true burden of overuse injuries due to a reliance on time-loss injury definitions.Objective To develop and validate a new method for the registration of overuse injuries in sports.Methods A new method, including a new overuse injury questionnaire, was developed and validated in a 13-week prospective study of injuries among 313 athletes from five different sports, cross-country skiing, floorball, handball, road cycling and volleyball. All athletes completed a questionnaire by email each week to register problems in the knee, lower back and shoulder. Standard injury registration methods were also used to record all time-loss injuries that occurred during the study period.Results The new method recorded 419 overuse problems in the knee, lower back and shoulder during the 3-month-study period. Of these, 142 were classified as substantial overuse problems, defined as those leading to moderate or severe reductions in sports performance or participation, or time loss. Each week, an average of 39% of athletes reported having overuse problems and 13% reported having substantial problems. In contrast, standard methods of injury registration registered only 40 overuse injuries located in the same anatomical areas, the majority of which were of minimal or mild severity.Conclusion Standard injury surveillance methods only capture a small percentage of the overuse problems affecting the athletes, largely because few problems led to time loss from training or competition. The new method captured a more complete and nuanced picture of the burden of overuse injuries in this cohort.
© Copyright 2013 British Journal of Sports Medicine. BMJ Publishing Group Ltd of the BMA. All rights reserved.

Subjects: interview load injury sport handball skiing cycling volleyball knee
Notations: biological and medical sciences
DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2012-091524
Published in: British Journal of Sports Medicine
Published: 2013
Volume: 47
Issue: 8
Pages: 495-502
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced